Dodgers Seem Ready to Let Justin Turner Walk in Free Agency

Justin Turner
Divisional Series - Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five | Harry How/Getty Images

Dodgers 3B Justin Turner has been one of the most productive third baseman in MLB since the start of his most recent four-year, $64 million contract. As Turner approaches the last year of his deal, though, it's been reported that there was no discussion between the two sides about an extension prior to the league going under a transaction freeze.

Offensively, Turner put up a .290 average in 135 games and 27 home runs. Solid numbers. It is the defense that LA seems to be concerned with. The Dodgers approached Angels 3B Anthony Rendon in free agency this winter, but to no avail. This means that LA is looking in another direction rather than an aging Turner at that spot, and could be prepared to let him explore new territory following 2020.

Los Angeles has to make an executive decision on the contract of newly-acquired outfielder Mookie Betts, who will be a free agent in 2021 and command a lot of money. It is possible that LA does not want to dig too deep into the luxury tax to give Betts the money he deserves, as well as pay top dollar for a 35-year-old (turning 36 in November) third baseman in Turner.

From Turner’s perspective, he will have plenty of suitors if and when he hits the open market. For the Dodgers, they can either try to work out a trade once the transaction freeze is lifted in order to get some value in return, or straight up let Turner go next winter. Either way, there does not seem to be any progress in contract talks on either side, and Los Angeles is preparing to proceed accordingly.